Capsule Wardrobe: Update

So, back in April I cleaned out my closet and put away or got rid of all the clothes I don’t wear. I’ve continued getting rid of stuff, even my most precious way-too-small stuff. (Well. A lot of it is sitting in piles waiting for me to mail it to people. Mailing stuff is expensive.)

I bought fabric and some basics, like jeans. I sewed myself a dress no. 1.

After that we got really busy rearranging our apartment, which takes forever because we are four people and a lot of stuff in three rooms. So I haven’t sewn anything else, but I have been slowly collecting off-the-rack pieces. (THAT SOUNDS SO FANCY. I’ve bought a few t-shirts and some skirts and jeans. I shop at Old Navy and Target. I’ve also bought some fun t-shirts online.)

Our apartment is in pretty good shape but I haven’t gotten into the habit of creating again. For one thing, it’s been insanely hot and that just makes me sleepy. It’s started cooling off a little so I am hopeful that I will get back into the swing of making. (Or into it at all. I’ve always gone in fits and spurts. I’d rather it be a regular thing.)

My wardrobe building has been a little unusual. It’s not a true capsule wardrobe, because that implies that I am narrowing down my existing wardrobe, when in fact I am building it from almost nothing. In a way, I think this makes it easier for me. My hard choices are all based on what I can afford.

My goals are/were to have a well-rounded wardrobe, suitable to wherever I need to go, with a good range of items that mix and match well. I want good colors, variety, and to look/feel cute at all times. Being comfortable is non-negotiable.

Lots of details follow.

I started by making a series of lists in a notebook. Short sleeve tees, long sleeve tees, cardigans, pullover sweaters, tops, tunics/dresses, skirts, pants. I decided early on that since my jewelry brings me great joy, I would not limit it (for now, anyway–I may end up pulling stuff I don’t wear). Same for scarves and shawls. I have only a couple pairs of shoes, and minimal other accessories, like tights. None of that stuff concerns me, wardrobe-building-wise. I also left all of my referee clothing, both uniform and casual stuff, off the list. I am treating it as a separate wardrobe, essentially. Likewise I didn’t count any workout clothes, sleeping clothes, etc. I have a few dresses that are more formal which I haven’t counted because I haven’t decided if I’m keeping them.

Here’s where I’m at right now:

black t-shirt
2 olive tees
6 (?) graphic tees
pink v-neck
grey v-neck

purple ls tee
burgundy ls tee

navy cotton cardi
safety yellow cotton cardi
WIP: Woodstove Season cardi
TO KNIT: Vitamin D (green alpaca silk)

grey angora turtleneck
WIP: Gallifrey scoopneck pullover
TO KNIT: Tide Pools (Three Fates Eponymous)
TO KNIT: Anthi (pink Whatnot sock)
TO KNIT: 50s cropped top (need yarn)

TO MAKE: Colette Violet in brown bird fabric
TO MAKE: Simplicity 3538 in blue bird fabric
TO MAKE: Simplicity 3538 in red bird fabric
(Apparently my life is birds.)

orange dress no. 1
black t-shirt dress
grey tunic
TO MAKE: strawberry dress (3538)
TO MAKE: pond life tunic (3538 or Sonya Philip)
TO MAKE: green dress no. 1 OR tunic (Sonya Philip)

black/white striped skirt
olive/white striped skirt
TO MAKE: cherry fabric skirt
TO MAKE: wool plaid skirt
TO MAKE: brown corduroy skirt

2 pairs cropped jeans (one dark rinse, one light)
black jeggings
WANT: olive trousers
WANT: bootcut jeans
WANT: wool navy (as in armed forces) pants
WANT: thick leggings (maybe make in wool)

You might notice that if I make everything on my list, I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 items, which is a lot more than my original goal of 33. First of all, it it CRAZY unlikely that I will actually make it all. And second of all, there are several things I would GLADLY get rid of. My solid v-neck t-shirts, for example, are made from such ridiculously thin fabric that I have to wear a cami under them. RIDICULOUS. Also would happily lose my black jeggings if I find/make some good leggings.

SO. That’s a lot of information about what’s happening with my wardrobe. Anybody else doing this?

4 thoughts on “Capsule Wardrobe: Update

  1. Annika

    October 13, 2014 at 5:26pm

    Other items I would love to add to my wardrobe: a denim/chambray shirt dress; a sleeveless button-up shirt in cream and red plaid; a gingham top.

  2. Katie Lynn

    October 14, 2014 at 8:38am

    I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but as most of my clothing is pretty old at this point (bought a bunch after my size and body shape changed drastically, it’s now all around 3-4 years old). But unfortunately I live in a place where there is over 110 degree difference in coldest to hottest throughout the year (last year specifically had windchills of -20 and highs in the 90s). The last six months I’ve been making a concentrated effort to buy nice classic pieces to fit holes in my wardrobe, and dressing everything up with accessories. Mainly I’m trying to stay away from patterns or sayings on my base layers, just going for mostly neutrals with a few colored tees. I’ve also been making sure to wear all those sweaters I’ve been knitting for years, which I used to wear only occasionally.

    • Annika

      October 14, 2014 at 8:41am

      Project 333, which I based my initial lists on, does capsule wardrobes for three month periods, so you can adjust for weather. That said, you might not need to do one! It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good system.

  3. Annika

    October 17, 2014 at 11:17am

    Wrap dresses. I have two in my mending pile that I’d forgotten until just now, but they don’t fit well because of my rack. I wonder if I should try making my own.

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